cross chaining = destroyed chainrings :-( FIXED with pics

sebbyp Posts: 106
edited February 2016 in Workshop
Hi all,
I seem to have a rather bad case of cross chaining, caused by a phobia of the granny ring on my compact.

the chain doesn't even seat on the 50T chainring anymore and hangs almost dangerously to the left balanced on top of the teeth! Have you ever seen it this bad?

I think I may have bent my rear 105 derailleur/ or hanger? a few months ago so shifting is poor in 34t ring, reinforcing my constant use of 50 x 25 on the turbo and out and about when I hit the hills I use this gear lots.

Not sure what to do now clearly I need a new crankset or rings, rear derailleur, probably chain. :(

It's fsa Gossamer bb30 at the moment but I guess it may be worth upgrading to ultegra but thats over £200 for the odd parts rather than groupset. I think Its a bit of a shame there in no 52/36 cranks in 10 speed? all of a sudden we've gone 11spd and semi compact.

Im wondering wether its worth going the whole hog with new groupset.. but then I may still sit in 52 x 28?
any thoughts?


  • marcusjb
    marcusjb Posts: 2,412
    Have you ever thought about riding fixed?
  • imposter2.0
    imposter2.0 Posts: 12,028
    Serious thread?
  • Ben6899
    Ben6899 Posts: 9,686
    New chain.
    New cassette.
    New 50T chainring.
    Gears indexed.


    Bikes: Donhou DSS4 Custom | Condor Italia RC | Gios Megalite | Dolan Preffisio | Giant Bowery '76
  • The only time I've had similar was when I'd neglected checking my chains for wear ... leaving too late on a couple of occasions which resulted in increased wear on the chain rings. My commute is fairly flat an I tend to spend most time in the big ring, and my problem was exactly as pictured. The chain would ride on top of the chainring teeth, and sometimes mesh together fine, sometimes not. On putting power down I even occasionally had the chain pop off on the outside - nearly causing a nasty accident.

    Changing the chain didn't sort it, but once I changed the chainring as well all was good ... though depending on chain wear you might also need a new cassette.
  • StillGoing
    StillGoing Posts: 5,211
    I'd say that is the chain and not the chain ring. With cross chaining the weak point is going to be the chain not the cassette or the chainrings. Chain ring size is not specific to 9/10 or 11 speed. If you want 36/52 chain rings buy them and stick them on your cranks making sure they are 110BCD for your FSA Gossamer.

    And clean your chain more often judging by the state of that one.
    I ride a bike. Doesn't make me green or a tree hugger. I drive a car too.
  • Cross chaining doesn't cause that sort of wear. Neglecting your chain in terms of not cleaning it properly and not changing it when it needs to be changed certainly can.

    For the first year or so I was cycling I thought, lets go everywhere in the big ring, getting up that climb in the bing ring proves you're strong. It proves nothing ;), choose the best gear for the circumstance, get into some good habits, get a cadence sensor and be a slave to it for a while, that'll sort you out. Also get a chain cleaner tool and a new chain while you're at it.
  • JesseD
    JesseD Posts: 1,961
    I ended up having to change my cassette, chain and outer chain-ring (I also use a compact and mainly ride in the big ring unless climbing) which wasn’t cheap, however I didn’t feel too bad after I realised that I had put almost 6000 miles into the original ones since June last year so it was to be expected, so as someone who has just forked out to replace his entire drive chain I cannot wax lyrical enough about making sure you clean it all regularly and make sure it is lubed properly, especially after riding in the wet to try to prolong its life as much as possible, and even then you need to make sure you are checking the chain for wear every couple of months (depending on mileage).

    With regards to riding in the big ring, well IMO there is nothing wrong with that as long as you are NOT cross chaining, I predominantly use the outer chain ring for the majority of my riding but never use the outer ring with the 2 largest sprockets on the back, or vice versa use the inner ring with the 2 smallest sprockets on the back, it bends the chain too much which causes premature chain wear. I use a compact with 11-28 cassette and never feel like I run out of gears (I race on it too).
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • sebbyp
    sebbyp Posts: 106
    Cheers all,
    Its not looking good the bike sounds really bad, in every way.
    Chain does seem dead as its not sitting on inner chain ring properly even though that ring is in good condition. you can hear it rumble into every tooth on the front and the back sounds even worse can see why had though new pulleys in the derailleur and lining up ok.
    Ddidn't think the chain was that old. but it may well have done between 3 to 4k KM in 6 months? possibly. is that alot haha?
    I had been oiling every link and going through the gears but never wiped excess oil off and shit just sticks to it. Got a park tool chain scrubber for Christmas. it's still in the box.
    Will keep on top of chain maintenance/replacement from now on, promise!
    I will only ride it on the turbo gently tonight, lucky its a recovery week! then strip it down ready for new parts. Decided to upgrade as I will start racing this year and this is the only frame I have. I'm good on the hills but would often sit in the easiest gear I have 34/25 on the steep stuff. Seems shouldn't be doing that much either. There is 12/28 cassette on the turbo with 26 hours use on it so shouldn't be too worn I hope! could try that on the road to stop me using largest cog.

    Cadence at weekend was 86rpm over 75miles. Will work towards 90rpm
    Stayed compact for now as like my hills. Went for Ultegra ... crankset, rear derailleur and chain on the way + some bb30 adapter bushes.
    I'll be back when I get stuck. Cant remember how to undo the kmc quick link? pliers maybe. guess i'll just punch a pin out of the dead chain.
  • JesseD
    JesseD Posts: 1,961
    KMC quick links are easy, just use needle nose pliers to pinch together to release the link.

    with regards to cross chaining, as long as you avoid the extremes you should be ok, so no 50x25 and no 34x11, you should be ok in most other gears.

    The main thing is to clean your chain, chainrings and cassette regularly, I give mine a thorough clean every week and usually give it a wipe down after every ride and relube, if you don't and just relube you are basically leaving all the shi7 from the road on your chain which will prematurely knacker it (as you have found out).

    There is a train of thought that you should have a couple of chains and rotate them every so often to prolong the life of the chains and cassette, seeing as a 105 chain only cost circa £12 it seems like a cost effective way of prolonging the life of your drive chain.
    Obsessed is a word used by the lazy to describe the dedicated!
  • JesseD wrote:
    There is a train of thought that you should have a couple of chains and rotate them every so often to prolong the life of the chains and cassette, seeing as a 105 chain only cost circa £12 it seems like a cost effective way of prolonging the life of your drive chain.

    My train of thought is along similar lines but goes more like chains only cost circa £12 so once they've done 1000-2000 miles just replace it anyway. Same with 10 speed cassettes being about £14 I have one of them with every second chain or so.

    I'm sure someone will be on soon to say "waste of money" but when you compare to everything else you spend on cycling it really isn't.
  • sebbyp
    sebbyp Posts: 106
    yeah I think I will have to clean & change the chain more often, the old one on closer inspection has shite in all the links.
    Wiggle got the parts to me 24hrs after order, so I removed and replaced the old crank/rear derailleur/chain and fitted the wheels manufacturing bushes. Cleaned old grease out of frame/BB bearings and put some new on .
    I removed the cassette from the roadwheel and it was really gunked up, so dismantled it and cleaned all the cogs properly.
    Tightened the rear hanger a bit as it wasnt as tight as it should be.
    So it was all assembled, turned the crank, nasty noise. Turns out the rear derailleur hanger was badly twisted! so the bottom pulley was trying to send the chain towards the frame.
    So wheel off, derailleur off, adjustable spanner on the hanger and bent it back straight. took two attempt to get it back straight. After a full adjustment of the derailleur its running bleeding lovely on the workstand. yay!
    I did not use the KMC quick link just the supplied shimano pin, hopefully you can buy new pins!

    I even weighed some of the parts out of interested but couldnt get the Driveside crankset weights. the ultegra 6750 seems a smidge over 500g and the FSA seemed 100g+ heavier.

    few pics!

    greased up
    bb30 to shimano 24mm axle adapter bushes
    bushes fitted
    all done
    But bent hanger! cant rotate pic!

    Ultegra 6700 rear derailleur 193.7G
    105 5700 rear derailleur 222.3G + few g for cable adjuster
    Ultergra 6750 NDS Crankarm weight 205.2G
    FSA Gossamer NDS Crankarm weight 251.4G
    105 PD-5700 pedal

    back to cycling! :D
  • robbo2011
    robbo2011 Posts: 1,017
    Glad it's fixed, but you went about it in a very expensive way. You probably only needed to change the chain and cassette for around £30.

    Still, nice upgrade I suppose. Bet it makes absolutely no difference to your average speed though!
  • vrsmatt
    vrsmatt Posts: 160
    I commented on this the other day and my comment seems to have been removed?

    I pointed out it was likely to be a bent cable hangar, glad its sorted :-)
    Giant TCR Composite 1, Giant Defy Advanced 2, Boardman Comp, Santa Cruz Heckler, Raleigh M-Trax Ti, Strida LT, Giant Halfway
  • sebbyp
    sebbyp Posts: 106
    Yeah even though I'd changed the derailleur pulleys the other month they already had lots of play in. At least I know what to look for in a bent hanger next time.
    Its really nice on the turbo, using little ring and middle gears is great.
    I'll be out on the roads in the morning testing it out.

    As for more speed every little helps, will be hill climbing this year so the less weight the better!